Remembering Croatian Bravery: 28 years since Operation ‘Bljesak’ marked
- by croatiaweek
- in News
Today, in the town of Okučani, Croatia celebrated the 28th anniversary of Operation “Bljesak” (Flash).
The event was held to pay tribute to the bravery of the Croatian police and army, who liberated around 500 square kilometres of territory in western Slavonia in 1995 that had been under the control of Serb insurgents.
Between May 1 and May 3 in 1995, Croatian troops and police launched an operation that would prove to be a significant turning point in the Homeland War.
In under 32 hours, they were able to regain control of 500 square kilometres of land, which included important transportation infrastructure such as the main motorway and railway line leading to Eastern Slavonia. The operation involved approximately 7,200 troops and police officers, with 42 fatalities and 162 wounded.
What made this operation unique was the Croatian Air Force’s decision to employ airstrikes on a much larger scale than before. Additionally, the use of tanks that were transported by rail and then deployed in combat caught the enemy off guard.
This successful operation demonstrated the Croatian forces’ strategic planning, tactical execution, and their unwavering commitment to regaining control of their territory.
On the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the Military Police Operation “Bljesak,” Croatian President Zoran Milanović participated in the ceremony held today in Okučani.
The event was attended by high-ranking military officials, including the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Croatia, Admiral Robert Hranj, and Lieutenant General Siniša Jurković, among others.
During the ceremony, the President laid a wreath and lit a candle at the “Crystal Cube of Serenity” memorial on Dr. Franje Tuđman Square.
The names of the 51 veterans who died in the operation were read, and a prayer was offered for all fallen Croatian veterans.
The event provided an opportunity to remember the sacrifices of those who fought for Croatian independence and freedom.